Jet Black, drummer for The Stranglers, dies, aged 84

The Stranglers
The Stranglers' original line-up: Dave Greenfield, Jet Black, Jean-Jacques Burnel and Hugh Cornwell (Image credit: Fin Costello / Getty)

Jet Black, aka Brian John Duffy, drummer for The Stranglers, has died aged 84, the band confirmed in a statement on its website.

The Stranglers would not have been if it wasn’t for him. The most erudite of men. A rebel with many causes. Say hi to Dave for me.

Stranglers bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel

"Jet Black passed away peacefully at home on Tue 6th Dec," the statement reads. 

"A founding member of iconic British new-wave rock band The Stranglers, Jet helped the band achieve a prolific 23 top 40 singles and 19 top 40 albums in the official UK charts."

Stranglers bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel, referring to Dave Greenfield, the band's keyboard player, who died in 2020, wrote, "The welcoming committee has doubled. After years of ill health, Jet has finally been released. He was a force of nature. An inspiration. The Stranglers would not have been if it wasn’t for him. The most erudite of men. A rebel with many causes. Say hi to Dave for me." 

Hugh Cornwell, the band's original frontman and co-founder wrote, "It is with great sadness I have learnt that Jet Black has passed away. We shared a special period of our lives when we strived to become professional musicians. We were immediately drawn to one another, he had a singular sense of purpose that I identified with.

"He threw everything in his previous life out, to dedicate himself to our common goal. Our birthdays were 2 days apart, so we were quite similar. The Stranglers success was founded on his determination and drive.

"His timing was faultless. All power to him and his legacy."

Jet Black

(Image credit: The Stranglers)

Current Strangler frontman Baz Warne said "I loved Jet. He took me under his wing over two decades ago and I never really came out from under it. 

"I’m so very sad he’s gone. He hadn’t been too well for a while, but when I spoke to him most recently, three weeks ago, he was laughing and wanting to hear all the news… still interested and involved. 

"It’s been my privilege to have known and worked with him, and to have called him a friend, and I’ll miss him until the end of my days. Rest in peace big man."

No cause of death has been announced. 

Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.